Germany’s Soul-searching Begins After Another World Cup Failure – NBC Los Angeles

Another World Cup, another World Cup failure.

Germany faces another round of soul searching after being knocked out of the sport’s top tournament in the first stage for the second time in a row.

The German players spoke after good performances and missed opportunities, as they have done before. But no one had real answers to the team’s problems.

“There are 25 experts gathered here. Everyone can get advice and then agree on some details,” German striker Thomas Müller said after the team was knocked out of the tournament in Qatar despite a 4-2 win over Costa Rica on Thursday.

Germany’s fate was effectively decided when they lost their opening game to Japan 2-1, and then followed that up with a 1-1 draw against Spain.

It left Germany bottom of Group E and dependent on a favor from Spain. It never came as Japan defeated the Spanish to win the group. Spain beat Germany on goal difference.

“I never look at another team, it depends on us,” Germany coach Hansi Flick said of trusting Spain. “I think that in the end the sum of everything contributed to us being eliminated. We had enough chances, either in the first half or in the first 60 minutes of the game against Japan, or even at the end against Spain, when we had another great chance. You really have to take those risks.”

What Flick failed to mention is that Spain also missed many opportunities to put their match against Germany out of reach before Niclas Füllkrug’s late equalizer.

That goal turned out to be the highlight for Germany, but it also proved to be of little value in another disappointing performance on the big stage.

“A bitter disappointment for us,” the president of the German soccer federation, Bernd Neuendorf, said on Friday before boarding the flight home from Hamad international airport.

Neuendorf said he will meet next week with Flick, sports director Oliver Bierhoff and German soccer league vice president Hans-Joachim Watzke to discuss the consequences of the latest early exit from the World Cup.

Germany’s management is under pressure for a notable improvement in the team’s performance before it hosts Euro 2024.

“My expectation of the sports management is that they do an initial analysis in this meeting, a sports analysis of this tournament, but also develop perspectives for the time after the tournament with a view to the Eurocup,” Neuendorf said. . “This analysis must also include the development of the national team, of our football, since 2018, since the last World Cup.”

Müller was unable to explain the team’s decline since reaching the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

“We haven’t been able to live up to expectations in tournaments in recent years because as a team I would say we don’t have specialists running all over the place,” said Müller, 33, who appeared to retire from the national team but then He backed off: “We have a lot of players who are very talented, yes.”

Germany, the 2014 World Cup winners, was also knocked out of the group stage at the 2018 tournament in Russia. At last year’s coronavirus-delayed European Championships, Germany were knocked out in the second round.

“I really think we can’t say where we are,” Germany captain Manuel Neuer said of the team’s place in world soccer.

Prior to the 2018 World Cup, Germany had reached at least the semifinals of every major competition they have participated in since the 2006 World Cup, which they hosted.

“I joined the team in 2016. Germany was always in the semifinals before that,” midfielder Joshua Kimmich said. “Then I went in and out (of the World Cup) twice in the first stage and last year in the second round (of the Euro Cup). It’s hard to accept.

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